UN Security Council to meet after Turkey launches Syria offensive

UN Security Council to meet after Turkey launches Syria offensive
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The United Nations Security Council will meet to discuss the Turkish military offensive in northern Syria, according to diplomats representing the council's 15 nations.

Reuters reported that the five European nations, including Poland, Britain, France, Germany and Belgium, requested that a meeting be held Thursday.

The meeting comes as the Turkish military began moving against Kurdish forces that were fighting ISIS in northern Syria, just days after President TrumpDonald John TrumpPelosi eyes end of April to bring a fourth coronavirus relief bill to the floor NBA to contribute 1 million surgical masks to NY essential workers Private equity firm with ties to Kushner asks Trump administration to relax rules on loan program: report MORE announced that U.S. troops would leave the area.

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United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres issued a statement earlier this week condemning reports that Turkish forces would soon move into northern Syria.

“Civilians and civilian infrastructure should be protected,” a U.N. spokesman told Reuters. “The secretary-general believes that there’s no military solution to the Syrian conflict.”

Trump's announcement was condemned by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle in Washington, who said the Trump administration was abandoning the Kurds, a U.S. ally in the war against ISIS.

“The President’s decision will have severe consequences for our strategic national interests and reduce American influence in the region while strengthening Turkey, Russia, and Iran,” Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGraham asks colleagues to support call for China to close wet markets Justice IG pours fuel on looming fight over FISA court Trump says he's considering restricting travel to coronavirus 'hot spots' MORE (R-S.C.), who has been a strong supporter of the president, wrote in conjunction with Sen. Christopher CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsSenate includes 0M for mail-in voting in coronavirus spending deal Hillicon Valley: Facebook reports huge spike in usage during pandemic | Democrats push for mail-in voting funds in coronavirus stimulus | Trump delays deadline to acquire REAL ID Democrats press for more stimulus funding to boost mail-in voting MORE (D-Del.).

“The decision also dramatically increases the threat to our Kurdish allies, who helped destroy ISIS’s territorial caliphate, and will impair our ability to build strategic alliances in the future," he added.

Trump on Wednesday sought to distance himself from the Turkish offensive.

"This morning, Turkey, a NATO member, invaded Syria. The United States does not endorse this attack and has made it clear to Turkey that this operation is a bad idea," the president said in a statement.